Exhausted Pilots Own Up To Sleeping In The Cockpit

New concerns raised about stress on pilots in the air, airlines sound safety alarm.
1:35 | 09/26/13

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Transcript for Exhausted Pilots Own Up To Sleeping In The Cockpit
Next we turn to that airline pilot coming forward to confess and sound an alarm saying that he and his other pilot were supposed to be at the controls of a jumbo jet but were both so tired they fell asleep. A new concern about the stress on pilots in the air. Here's abc's david kerley. Reporter: Remarkably, the two pilots, already severely fatigued, fell asleep at the same time. That's right. An airbus a-330 which can carry more than 300 passengers on autopilot with both pilots sleeping. We only know because one of the pilots self-reported the incident six weeks ago, admitting the two pilots had only five hours sleep over two nights because of long shifts. Even though british pilots are allowed to take naps, the country's pilots association says the government is too complacent when it comes to pilot fatigue. Here in the united states -- a different story after this deadly colgan air crash in buffalo four years ago. 49 people on board were killed. Pilot fatigue was one of the contributing factors to the crash, which led to sweeping changes for american pilots. They must have a 10-hour minimum rest between flying days. Flight time is limited to eight to nine hours a day. And they are required to have 30 consecutive hours off every week. But even that may not be enough. Plane makers and airlines are tonight looking for ways to put technology in the cockpit that will tell if a pilot is fatigued, and then keep that pilot awake. David kerley, abc news, washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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